The fog cleared yesterday, completely.
I’ve been anticipating yesterday for a while now. It was like an earthquake, except with an earthquake, you hear it before you feel it; I felt it before I heard it.
The opinions and criticism of strangers has a superficial impact on my work. I don’t doubt myself to the core when someone tells me I’m a shitty writer or a slut; I take their words and leave them where I found them.
But–there is something that I thought would have the ability to dismantle my passion and confidence—the un-endorsement by someone from the inside, who knows me well, whom I respect.
I’ve braced myself for a day like yesterday, because, I knew it was coming: someone I care about discounted my work, questioned my intentions and asked/told me not to do it anymore.
The universe got serious yesterday: “It’s go time, or stop time. You’ve got a big, hard, throbbing decision to make.”
I was so angry. I defaulted to anger, the scapegoat emotion, because, it’s so fucking painful to feel the pain of hurt, of abandonment.
Oh, I let that anger rage for a while. I wrote nasty, violent letters to the people involved; paragraphs so sharp they’d dice the reader into pieces. Don’t worry, I erased them instead of sending them, and then I laced my hair into pigtails and I climbed a fucking mountain.
I trampled that rage. I burned the soil with my pain and by the time I reached the peak, I collapsed. I cried. I watched the bird play with the wind gusts, floating midair, staring at me, taunting me with her freedom, and that, that was the moment I spread my wings, too.
I jumped into the decision she’s been begging and pushing me to make.
I jumped away from and abandoned the other choice: keep quiet, soothe the insecurities and kowtow to the beliefs of others. Play it safe and worry, worry that I am harming my sweet, precious babes because I write about love, lust, sex and vaginas, and I bare my breasts to the world. Shame on me, tainting the image and reputation of those on the outskirts of my skin.
Instead, I soared into the decision, the direction, the way that I’ve already been going: clearing that path, unearthing the stuff that makes them squirm because it’s true, and the truth is fucking uncomfortable.
I believe in what I do. I own my story. I have the right to write as I desire. I own everything that’s happened to me: the experiences, the interactions and the people with whom I’ve intersected throughout this life.
I threw all that doubt off the mountain yesterday.
Strangers, family or friends, they are equal when it comes to their opinions. They are entitled to them, but what they aren’t entitled to is telling me how and what I can write about.
This is my story.
And, what about my daughters? What about their wellbeing?
I think about them in every single word and space between the letters.
I think about what I would say to them if they were sitting here typing their hearts out into the world and someone they cared about told them not to do what they were meant to do.
Do you know what I would say?
My darling, you belong to you and only you.
Don’t ever let anyone open the door to doubt.
This is your story, and it is your duty to tell it however you want, just like I do. ~ Rebecca
To be continued…